Researchers from the University of British Columbia have determined that people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are significantly more likely to have a motor vehicle crash than people without OSA. The researchers studied the crash records and polysomnographic findings of 783 OSA sufferers and 783 age-matched adults without OSA. They found that those with OSA were twice as likely to have a crash compared with non-OSA sufferers and that crashes among OSA patients were more likely to be severe and involve bodily injury. The study is the largest of its kind and the first to look at the severity of crashes involved. Based on these findings, the authors recommend that people suspected of having OSA be screened for the disorder and be made aware of the potential for driving hazards. The latest publication by the Highway Safety Roundtable, concludes that one in five Canadians have fallen asleep while driving in the past year.

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